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|Mumbai and UP Face to Face on the 3rd Day of Ranji Final|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Reporter|
|Thursday, 15 January 2009|
The cricket team that boasts of two players of the stature of Sachin and Zaheer Khan is destined to lift the trophy, and everything went according to the expectation on the 3rd day of Ranji final - at the end of the day Mumbai is enjoying a 157 lead. Read the full review on Cricket360.
If the lackluster fielding of UP and confused umpiring remained the highlights of the second day of the Ranji finals, the third day was clearly dominated by Zaheer Khan. In fact you can say, it’s a bit unfair to play a bowler of Zaheer’s caliber against the UP team, mostly consisting of the domestic batsmen. Even if Shukla’s 393 stint did invite criticisms from the commentators as a bit selfish, then a marginal lbw decision at 99, was sad. A failed attempt at defending on front foot and the hitting of the ball on the high on the pad made the umpire raise his finger at once. And with this, entire team seemed to take a terrible slip, finishing off with 245- all out. However, a patient Shukla was able to showcase a good deal of strokeplays for his Hyderabad audience, and produced a few flawless boundaries too.
In Cricket360’s opinion, it was definitely Zaheer ’s day. In his second spell, he continued to enthrall the audience with his magical reverse swings. He took 20 runs to snatch five wickets and that was the turning point of the day. (He gave 57 runs to claim seven wickets in total.) UP started sliding off and they went from 214 for 4 to a score of 245 all out. Only with the exception of Parvinder Singh, the other wickets were easy prey for Zaheer whose bowling on the third day was too fierce to handle, with the last four wickets collapsing for just six runs.
The one man who seemed to withstand the jolts from Zaheer, at least for some time was Parvinder. But his concentration seemed to end by a rather casual shot - a failed chase after the ball from the pitch and an easy grab by the gloves of Samant behind the wickets. It was one of the great jobs of the day, thanks to Nayar.
However, Jaffer and Samant were in their natural self when they made a valuable partnership to contribute 130 runs without loss of any wicket at the end of the day. It undoubtedly leaves the Mumbai team on good stead with a 287 runs lead. At this point of the game, the result looks pretty decisive.
It looks almost certain for Mumbai, at this stage. But again, this is cricket and who can tell, UP may crack an apparently impossible forth innings target.
Well, you must hold your breath till tomorrow; but make it a point to watch it out with Cricket360.com tomorrow.
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